Selected Unpublished Blog Posts of a Mexican Panda Express Employee by Megan Doyle
Publisher: MuuMuu House. November 2011
First Line: "I could never be a sports writer, unless my assignment was to write 'sports sports sports sports sports' for three pages"
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I don't really want to say that I'm obsessed with this book, but I think I'm obsessed with this book. First of all, I don't know shit about poetry, but this didn't feel like poetry. The book is like a diary. Some of the entries are just random, stream of consciousness statements. Some of the entries are more focused like "everyone i've had sex with" (published on thought catalog first, if you want a taste).
All of her statements are (mostly) funny, confessional, true, insightful, and surprising. It's like a collection of unrelated things that sum up to what it's like to be a 20-something. Some of the "posts" are really thoughtful, and some are more boring, unimportant details and thoughts of her life. But they're all thrilling to hear, because it's like looking into the deepest recesses of someone's mind. Honestly almost every page was bookmarked because I liked something on it. What I like about Megan Boyle's writing is how open she is. Not just in that she will say things that people may not normally share (or know how to put into words), but that it's all simply stated and clear. Her voice is mesmerizing and hard not to love entirely. It's very relatable, but that also makes some parts of the experience reading this difficult. Though she is funny and genuine, some of the things she says are troubling. Like many 20-somethings, she is disaffected and lost to an extent. Overly curious, self-aware, and depressed. It's hard to see her like that and see her talk about it so bluntly, because it's hard to see some of those things in myself. But I'm glad she was the one who made me look. And she made me feel hopeful.
I read this in July and it took me a while to review it, because I wasn't really sure how to do it justice. While reading it, I kept forcing people to read pages of it that I liked. After reading it, I kept trying to force it on other people. This is me virtually trying to force it on to you, because I think it's worth the time. Check out the quotes below and be charmed.
"Will smith is in 'men in black.' He is also in 'independence day.' People like to see will smith reacting to aliens. Will smith is a visual manifestation of the suspension of disbelief it takes to imagine realistically interacting with aliens. "
"Eventually I think I made enough funny/relevant comments that I 'broke even,' or maybe exceeded and moved into 'well-liked'"
"sometimes being with people is fun but other times it feels like I'm operating myself from a distance, telling myself I'm having a good time'
"I think some moments exist to be simple sentences that don't necessarily have a greater purpose than to be exactly what they are"
"i have frequently thought ‘i am trying to be okay’ in the past 48 hours without really knowing what ‘okay’ is or what i need to do to be‘trying’"
Outlandishness Rating: 8/10
The disjointed, ambiguous format, the stream of consciousness thoughts, as well as the lack of concern for capitalization make this a pretty interesting read.